The move was approved after Superintendent Curtis Turner explained that funds for the lion’s share of the bonuses will come from the state department of education’s priority school district program, an initiative designed to encourage teachers working in impoverished districts to remain there. Based on a formula that accounts for years of service and the amount of education the teacher has attained, Turner said individual educators would receive between $2,673 and $4,673 from the program. To qualify, certified teachers must work with students at least 70 percent of the time, an eligibility requirement that Turner said would exclude 12 Mineral Springs teachers and all of the school’s classified staff.
“What I thought would be fair would be to give all those teachers the lower amount,” Turner said. “To me, they’re entitled to a bonus just like everyone else because they’re with kids.”
Turner further proposed awarding a one time, $750 bonus to all classified staff, bringing the total cost to the district to $103,584.49, approximately $32,000 of which is the result of payroll withholding from the state-funded portion of the bonuses.
Board members briefly expressed their hope that future bonuses would be determined by merit before unanimously approving the expenditure.
In unrelated business during the meeting, the panel accepted a $4,000 bid on a school-owned 2006 model travel trailer from Mary Wallace, of Saratoga. Wallace was far and away the high bidder on the vehicle with the remaining four bids all coming in around $1,000.